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Bunny ears and an eager crowd awaiting the unofficial Vocaloid concert by Synthesized Reality Productions. Pacific Media Expo 2013. [j]

40 days of fundraising and almost $4,000 USD later, we have a Vocaloid concert! And no, this isn’t Crypton Future Media, SEGA, 5bp, MARZA ANIMATION PLANET INC., or any other entity or production studio typically associated with Vocaloid concerts that put this show together. With enough continued momentum, Synthesized Reality Productions could very well be the go-to production studio for local Vocaloid concerts until it gains traction with the likes of larger conventions such as Anime Expo. Anyone who is a Vocaloid fan who knew about and/or was fortunate to attend the 2011 Mikunopolis event in Los Angeles would probably agree that seeing more of Miku, Luka, Rin and Len onstage here in the United States is something we really need to see more often, especially for the efforts put forth at this year’s Pacific Media Expo. Read on for my quick impression of the show and some photos of the concert.

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Megane! I suppose it was only natural that Haruki would eventually ask Setsuna to join the club, but I didn’t think the episode would carry out the way it did. In some respects, I felt it spent too much time developing a single character. In other cases, it almost felt like there wasn’t enough time, which worries me a little if this is only meant to span a single season. Still, this week’s plot manages to carry on with enough moments to satiate romantic drama fans’ thirst for good character development. I mean, just look at those glasses on Setsuna; how is that not adorable at all?! Come to think of it, why does she even look that way?

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Well, you don’t see this happen quite often. Imagine setting up a cosplay shoot for this exact frame; I better start making some friends who love to fish, own a boat, and find a model willing to be trapped in a net for a few minutes just for this seemingly awkward shot. Awkward, that is, until you understand that this isn’t an ordinary girl being hoisted out of the sea via fish net by a well-dressed fisherman in a fashionable middle school button-up short sleeve in the middle of summer. Read on after the break for a bit of a history lesson behind this world’s underwater life and how this moment in the story is probably the de facto scene for which the struggles of our main characters will be based around.

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“There is so much I want to do. I’m brimming with thoughts of things I want to create… I chase after every image that flies out. I catch them, battle them, and consume them after sampling each flavor. I name and return them to where they ought to be [over and over]. It requires so much time.

I want to open all these boxes, but a mortal life span is too short to do such a thing. A single lifetime limits how many boxes you can open.”

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Boys, never break a promise you made to your cute female childhood friend, especially when she shows up in a fashionable sundress, bag, and hat to indirectly tell you how lonely she is to be warding off spirits and wants you to join in on the fight, even if you can’t see them at all. Oh, and make sure to not tell her she’s not cute at all; otherwise, you’re going to have a bad time.

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Despite dropping White Album only after the first few episodes back in 2009 and being further unimpressed that there was a sequel in the works, I was rather amazed at how the series sprung back to life. Mind you, I have no experience with the visual novels, so source material will serve no basis of comparison here. So far, it appears that you do not have to watch the first White Album to understand where this show is going and is actually set a few years since the first season ended. The premise? Very simple at its core. Read on after the break to find out whether this is a slice-of-life romantic drama you think is worth your time to check out this Fall.

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I watch it for the plot. Also, I recall mentioning two years ago that I voted for a second season, so I’m happy to have made it this far to write about what might arguably be one of the most anticipated Fall anime titles. That is, if you are a fan of these harem/mecha-type shows.

That being said, I found the ones to stand out so far this season are Charlotte and Laura. It was hilarious for them to be referred to as ‘Gold’ and ‘Silver’ in the department store. Most of this episode comprised of their relationship as current roommates and reminds us of their level of affection for Ichika. Even the side story of the maid cafe they were so quickly convinced to work for (seriously, who is she and will she serve any level of influence beyond her random appearance?) served as an entertaining introduction to some fancy footwork and theft deterrence without the use of any form or level of IS gear usage. It’s also nice to be able to focus on anyone but the main character in a harem for a change, even if 75% of the episode feels like a filler. A very quick recap of season one and a lead-in to the current season after the break.

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AX Live + Desu Nation - The Crowd

Large groups of people inside anime/manga stores, a couple of colorful sets of clothes and hair, cameras, and music can only mean one thing: mini-convention! I had the opportunity to meet a couple of friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and even some of my photos hosted by someone who works in the industry! Find out who it was after the break, as well as details behind my experience at AX Live/Desu-Nation’s St. Patrick’s Day Event.

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1-16-13 FigureTest-2517

For 2013, I thought it would be nice to re-photograph all of my figures from different perspectives (and hardware) that I hadn’t tried before and never had ready access to. The above shot of this rather famous figure (some of you may be able to figure out who it is right away) is an example of just that, as well as being a preview to something different and fun coming soon. I plan to tie in more background elements with this figure to make the shots more unique and, say, relevant to the subject’s contextual theme. Needless to say, I think the initial teaser results came out great! It certainly helps that she has partially transparent hair.

Having been away for some time with some (positive) career changes and physical relocation, I am now ready to pick up my momentum again with a new season of shows to follow, figure photo projects to commence, and comments to get back to. Stick around for some more posts and feedback this coming week!

Madoka Magica US Premiere Entrance

There is a lot to be said about the commercial success of the Madoka Magica franchise and its progression since it first aired almost two years ago. And if you were lucky enough to secure a seat for the Friday, October 19th premiere at the Downtown Independent in downtown Los Angeles, you would also see how much popularity it has gained, even in the midst of Style Fashion Week going on across the street at the Vibiana. Like the entire week dedicated to the world of fashion, the Madoka Magica movie premiere will take place for a week until the 25th. And while it may not capture world-renowned fame like Style Fashion Week (just yet), it still shows subtle signs of a discreet subculture’s growth into popular mainstream entertainment.

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Flood Gates of Anime Expo 2012

This isn’t even the full-res panorama of the sea of this year’s Anime Expo, but you can tell that South Hall was packed with eager con-goers ready to check out everything the exhibit hall had to offer. Amazed? I sure was. Especially since I’m usually the one in that sea of people!

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Pre-Anime Expo 2012, QB Twins

Overhaul is the only thing I can think of when it comes to what has happened and what is next for this blog. Over as in a major life goal of mine (Japan) is complete, haul as in there is a lot brewing behind the scenes for the photos I still have yet to release, and the events and anime I have yet to talk about. Did I mention we’re doing test runs for an anime podcast? O_o

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It’s been three months since my last anime-related post and a general/photography post, and now I think I’m finally at a point where I’m ready to step back into the world of blogging. The Fall ’11 and Winter ’12 anime seasons have come a long way, and several more shows are ready to air this April. So what’s on my watch list this year?

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I might as well be re-watching Neon Genesis Evangelion at this point; at least the philosophical and religious themes worked to create a dramatically dark and moody theme whenever the leads were at their worst. Here, we just get a radically transformed Shu consisting of delusions and mental breakdowns so far left from the buildup of his character since ten weeks ago that I’m about ready to fall out of my chair from disbelief at how badly this show is being handled.

Oh wait, this show being badly handled is old news by now? Where have I been?!

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Nikon L105 Test-0011

Free time at the office, a coworker’s new Nikon COOLPIX L105, and a demanding Haruhi Suzumiya can only mean one thing: be prepared to be a little saddened that you didn’t decide to pick this camera up for only $100 during this year’s Black Friday specials.

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11-19-11 Jo's 25th Birthday-4252

More adventures on the photo-blog side of life at the moment. One of my close friends came back from New York and celebrated her birthday early with some more of our friends from college. I was in charge of photographer duties that night and was thankful to use Kevin’s studio lighting once more to aid in my efforts, as well as grateful for Joana’s parents for allowing me to capture all of the wonderful moments.

Backlogs upon backlogs. Life is grand when you know you have a huge list of things to catch up on. On the anime front, the Fall season is progressing nicely, and most shows are now somewhere between the seventh and eight episode of airing. Still prepping a giant overview of the season so far in addition to photo-blog posts while juggling work and recovering from a nice throat sore. Ailing health aside, otanoshimini!


Hatsune Miku Live Party 2011, Live in Sapporo. Yup, it premiered last night at the our local Century 25 multiplex theater here in Orange, California, as well as simulatenously all over the U.S. in places like Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles (how ironic if held at the Nokia Theater), and New York. And yes, I got to witness it, thanks to some of my awesome friends, Jon and Anthony. Initial verdict: fantastic! The only problem is that once you’ve seen a live Vocaloid concert (with HD character models), nothing else compares. Seeing the Sapporo show on the local big screen didn’t help to break that handicap down one bit, either.

Final impressions in detail when I get around to posting the rest of my experience later today. Hopefully, I’ll still remember all of the new and unique costumes that were revealed, as well as how flawlessly kept the band’s hairstyles seemed to be. Bottom line for now: do yourself a favor and start saving up for the upcoming Mikunopolis in L.A. DVD/BD due out in December if you’re even the slightest bit interested in the Vocaloid phenomenon. You will not regret it. Opportunities like the viewing of the Sapporo show only come around once in a great while, so it’s best to get enough exposure now before the show begins its final run.

Thoughts in Jeremyville @ DesignerCon 2011

Life has a funny way of throwing things at you. In my case, an entire week and a few days worth of familial situations, a major workplace move (and being in charge of possibly the single-most important aspect of a tech company: the tech), and sharing some time with precious friends has taken me away from the steady stream of anime/photo blogging I’d been slowly veering from. Does that mean I’m closing up shop or fading away as a result of the rookie aniblogger’s syndrome of sudden brain fart and disinterest in sharing with the world why I still tsun-tsun and dere-dere over particular shows?

Far from it. As a matter of fact, I’ve been actively watching all the fall anime shows I’ve come to love, attending conventions like DesignerCon most recently, and I’m even preparing for a third convention in the past two weeks. The next few days will be “at-a-glace” posts to consolidate the episodes of each show I’ve been following so as to keep the catch-up duties short and get myself back on track, followed by some photo-blog posts like this one to share with what I’ve really been up to since I last talked about a show like C3 or Working’!!

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Our reward for witnessing the big resolution of our first antagonist’s plight and class president’s big reveal: Haruaki and Fear caught in the act… of cube maintenance? Poor Konoha.

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The confrontation! I feel like these have come along before, but this week takes another fresh stab at the Yachiyo x Satou dilemma; something I’m sure many a shipper probably took to much delight once again.

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Because we think walking around in several circles around one of the two main characters while donning a a fancy red suit and church attire is influential enough to warrant a nearly 47-minute long War of the Holy Grail history lesson. Better yet, let’s drink some red wine while we’re at it.

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When the idea of a simple Rubik’s Cube morphs into a concept of a powerful being capable of storing and using any and all torture devices known to man for the sake humanity’s need to punish, you know you’ll be in for quite a rush of a story. Unfortunately, it took me four weeks to begin appreciating this show; on the bright side, now I’m hooked.

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Tako Luka Invasion, 5 of 5

I’ve slowly been turning into a Megurine Luka fan since my days at Anime Expo and the Vocaloid experience’s first American debut at Mikunopolis in Los Angeles. So, it was only natural that the merchandise soon followed. But what does this wannabe Luka octopus have anything to do with the actual human-form character? And why do I suddenly have a craving for some takoyaki, as terrible as that may seem in the context of said octopus?

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Kodoka asks a question to himself that will probably be the basis for the serious side of this series: are there really friends that can care about each other their whole life?

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The Fall season’s most anticipated series finally gets the review treatment here, and what better way to start things off than to not highlight the main female protagonist in the introductory image. Why? Because I think Tsugumi just proved herself to be far superior than damsel-in-distress Inori in both usefulness and overall character introduction. Sorry Inori, but your last-minute class transfer better work wonders next week.

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